Looking for a new or used vehicle can be an exciting event. Finding a great deal makes the process even more rewarding, but buyer beware. Recent floods in the southern states have provided an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of you. Some companies and savvy re-sellers move flood and storm-damaged vehicles to unaffected states where they look for eager used-car buyers. These sellers will retitle the cars before distributing them throughout the country including right here in Colorado.
Don’t be a victim to these scammers. It’s up to you to do the research and ask the right questions when car shopping. Be aware of red flags and ask yourself these questions when looking at any used car:
- Does the vehicle have mud or rust under the carpet in the car body or trunk?
- Do you smell mold or mildew in the vehicle?
- Check under the hood and under panels. Is there unusual debris or mud present?
- Do you see rust on exposed screws? If so, this is a sign that the vehicle was exposed to excess moisture.
- Is the seller pushy or eager to get the vehicle out of their hands?
- Does this “deal” sound too good to be true?
We’re here to help you through the car buying process. Our auto loan experts can pull a complete report on a vehicle, free of charge. The report will show the vehicle’s full history, including if there has been a salvage or flood title associated with the vehicle.
A salvage title means the car was declared a total loss by an insurance company at one time. The car may have been in a serious accident or has had some other serious problem. A flood title means that the car has damage from sitting in water that was deep enough to fill the engine compartment.
Visit CARFAX at https://www.carfax.com/press/resources/flooded-cars for more information on the telltale signs of a flooded car and to enter information for a free CARFAX flood check.
You can always request that a certified mechanic look over the vehicle too. Remember, trust your gut. If things don’t seem right, the smart move is to walk away.